Archives for category: What we’re reading

Gathering work from Trevor’s previous four collections, this volume shows why his deceptively spare fiction has moved readers for generations.  Set in Ireland and England, Trevor’s tales are powerful even in their silences, showing the way the present is controlled by the past and the way past patterns shape the future.  His stories are timeless.

-Milane

The Tiger’s Wife is set in a Balkan country after years of war and conflict. Natalia, a young doctor, is on a trip to an orphanage to provide care when she hears of her grandfather’s sudden death. In addition to the sadness she feels for the loss of her grandfather, she realizes that there is a huge mystery to where his death occurred. She found out that her grandfather had told the family that he was going to visit Natalia on her mission to an out of town orphanage, but he had not told Natalia of this. As she tries to find out more information about the whereabouts of his death, she realizes it is in a town that no one has heard of and that isn’t on the map. She tries to figure out where her grandfather was really going and what he was in search of. In the process, she is reminded of two stories that may be vital in understanding what he was doing and where he was going; the story of the deathless man, and the story of the Tiger’s Wife.

I’m not done with the book, but it’s been mysterious and a riveting family story so far. I highly recommend this book, it will be published in March 2011.

This is Tea Obreht‘s first novel. Some of her short stories have been published in The New Yorker and she has been named one of the Top 20 Best American Fiction Writers Under 40.

The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard

Due out Feb. 2011

This debut novel opens with the disappearance of sixteen year-old Nora Lindell, and follows the next thirty years via the collective voice of the boys she left behind. The author hints at several possibilities about what happened to Nora, but the novel really isn’t about her, it’s about these boys, who become men and husbands and fathers and never quite get over Nora’s disappearance. At first I wasn’t sure about this disembodied collective male voice, but in the end I found myself hooked, and I think Ms. Pittard has done something truly unique and fresh here. For fans of a straight linear narrative, this is not the book for you. But for those willing to take a risk with their fiction, enjoy! My sense is that this will be the first of many from Hannah Pittard, and I’ll be eagerly anticipating the next book of hers.

-Jennifer D.

Though it’s not a new book, and I’m only 3/4ths of the way through, Anthony Kiedis has me mesmerized.

Kiedis, the dynamic lead singer and lyricist for the infamous Red Hot Chili Peppers invites us into a whirlwind of chaos of which has been the life that brought him here today. Growing up in Michigan, Kiedis lived a fairly normal life as a young kid, getting into trouble only on occasion. It wasn’t until he began to visit and live with his father from time to time in Hollywood, CA that he began to harness his curiosity and experiment with drugs.

Between sleepless nights clubbing in Hollywood, his multiple muses, to rockin’ out with the band, we are thrown into the rock star lifestyle we all secretly wish we could experience. Though Kiedis experienced many low points that sometimes caused problems with the band, he always came back because his passion for the music and times to jam with the band were irreplaceable.

Fascinating, dirty, raw, honest, and yet altogether truly inspiring, Anthony a true rock and roll artist behind the catchy, best-selling rhymes of The Red Hot Chili Peppers welcomes us into the world of Hollywood rock mayhem.

-Jenn

We have also JUST received An Oral/Visual History by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, a gorgeous collection of the life and times of The Red Hot Chili Peppers that came out this month. Stop by to take a peek!

Jenn’s recommendation of Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating was featured on NPR on August 28th, 2010.

To listen to the interview and read the story, Click Here

(There is also an excerpt from the book)

Newly nominated for the Booker Prize long list, this Australian author weaves a multiple narrative.  He masterfully explores the inner lives of eight people.  The local details describe a suburban city in contemporary Australia.  The author’s keen observations of his multi-cultured characters deal with male violence and its roots.  –Jane

David Pepin has been in love with his wife, Alice, since the moment they met in a university seminar on Alfred Hitchcock. After thirteen years of marriage, he still can’t imagine a remotely happy life without her—yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she is dead, and David is both deeply distraught and the prime suspect.

The detectives investigating Alice’s suspicious death have plenty of personal experience with conjugal enigmas: Ward Hastroll is happily married until his wife inexplicably becomes voluntarily and militantly bedridden; and Sam Sheppard is especially sensitive to the intricacies of marital guilt and innocence, having decades before been convicted and then exonerated of the brutal murder of his wife.

Still, these men are in the business of figuring things out, even as Pepin’s role in Alice’s death grows ever more confounding when they link him to a highly unusual hit man called Mobius. Like the Escher drawings that inspire the computer games David designs for a living, these complex, interlocking dramas are structurally and emotionally intense, subtle, and intriguing; they brilliantly explore the warring impulses of affection and hatred, and pose a host of arresting questions. Is it possible to know anyone fully, completely? Are murder and marriage two sides of the same coin, each endlessly recycling into the other? And what, in the end, is the truth about love?